Pick one word…

If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured the world will not raise the price…

If you have to pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

There are certain value judgements we make about ourselves and every aspect of our lives is impacted by the way we see ourselves. Zig Ziglar summarizes this well with his saying ” It is impossible to behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We can do very few things in a positive way if we feel negative about ourselves”.

A Low Self Esteem or Self Image is characterized by thoughts, feelings and self-talk  of inadequacy to face challenges, unworthy of love and respect, not entitled to happiness, fearing assertive thought, wants or needs and lacking self-confidence. This self esteem deficiency will limit you, no matter what other assets you possess.

We should not be too concerned about what others might think about us.  What we should be concerned about, is what we think of ourselves. Many people tend to live their lives according to what others believe about them. If the important people in their lives expect them to go nowhere, then that’s what they expect for themselves. If you are surrounded by people who believe in you, that’s fine, but what if you are surrounded by people who don’t believe in you? John Maxwell believes “The value we place on ourselves is usually the value others place on us”…and I experience and see it daily, not only for myself but many people around me.

Is there something we can do to build our self-image? Something practical that we can start doing immediately?

  1. Guard your self talk – Whether we like it our not, we have a running conversation with ourselves all day long. The nature of which is many times criticizing ourselves. Turn this voice around to a positive influence by encouraging yourself. In the book “The Answer”   John Assaraf explains that by the age that a person is 17 years old they have heard “No..You can’t” a 150 000 times. they have heard “Yes…you can” only 5000 times – that is 30 no’s for every yes. This makes for  a powerful
    belief of “I can’t” – hence the negative nature of the self talk.
  2. Stop Comparing yourself to others – Comparing your performance to others’ have two negative effects. Either you feel inferior and discouraged for not performing better or you perceive yourself to be better than the other person and become proud.  Neither of these feelings are good for us. You should compare yourself to you! The mission is to become better than what you were yesterday. Look back and compare the you of today with the you of yesterday, last week, last month or last year. This should encourage you.
  3. Add value to others – People with low self esteem, often see themselves as victims and feel inadequate. This leads to a huge focus on themselves, becoming self protective and selfish because they feel they have to survive. If this is something you have to overcome, start serving others and add value to them. Sounds a little counter-intuitive? Making a difference in the lives of others, even a small one, lifts one’s self esteem. It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you are doing something good for someone else. Guess what – in addition to that, adding value to others, make them value you more. So the cycle of Value starts.